|<< WoR Ch. 59: Fleet / WoR Ch. 61: Obedience >>|
|“||Have you given up on the gemstone, now that it is dead? And do you no longer hide behind the name of your old master? I am told that in your current incarnation you've taken a name that references what you presume to be one of your virtues.||”|
Progression of the Chapter:
Shallan compares maps, searching for hints of Urithiru; small foreshadowings are dropped; Pattern attempts to comprehend human complexities like sleep and humor; he suggests that she once knew how to make her Illusions produce sound, and she goes blank; Shallan returns to her maps, presenting an argument for interpreting Stormseat to be in the middle of the Shattered Plains; she is convinced that the way to Urithiru is via Oathgate, and that there should be one in the ruins of Stormseat; Pattern again urges her to remember the skills she once knew, and she blanks again; he doesn’t let up this time, and she creates an Illusion of the broken, wretched girl she believes she would be if she let herself remember; she turns away again from the possibility of remembering, and draws Veil again, then turns her into an Illusion; when she walks away, the Illusion goes fuzzy; with instinct, experimentation, and leaps of intuition, she feeds Stormlight into Pattern and attaches the Illusion to him ... and now it can move.
Quote of the Chapter:
|“|| "Shallan," Pattern said, moving closer to her. "I know that you have forgotten much of what once was. Those lies attracted me. But you cannot continue like this; you must admit the truth about me. About what I can do, and what we have done. Mmm ... More, you must know yourself. And remember."
She sat cross-legged on the too-nice bed. Memories tried to claw their way out of the boxes inside her head. Those memories all pointed one way, toward carpet bloodied. And carpet ... not.
"You wish to help," Pattern said. "You wish to prepare for the Everstorm, the spren of the unnatural one. You must become something. I did not come to you merely to teach you tricks of light."
"You came to learn," Shallan said, staring at her map. "That’s what you said."
"I came to learn. We became to do something greater."
"Would you have me unable to laugh?" she demanded, suddenly holding back tears. "Would you have me crippled? That is what those memories would do to me. I can be what I am because I cut them off."
An image formed in front of her, born of Stormlight, created by instinct. She hadn’t needed to draw this image first, for she knew it too well.
The image was of herself. Shallan, as she should be. Curled in a huddle on the bed, unable to weep for she had long since run out of tears. This girl ... not a woman, a girl ... flinched whenever spoken to. She expected everyone to shout at her. She could not laugh, for laughter had been squeezed from her by a childhood of darkness and pain.
That was the real Shallan. She knew it as surely as she knew her own name. The person she had become instead was a lie, one she had fabricated in the name of survival. To remember herself as a child, discovering Light in the gardens, Patterns in the stonework, and dreams that became real ...
"Mmmm ... Such a deep lie," Pattern whispered. "A deep lie indeed. But still, you must obtain your abilities. Learn again if you have to."
Shallan has overlaid the map of the Silver Kingdoms with the map of the Unclaimed Hills and Shattered Plains, recognized that the Hills and the Plains form what was once Natanatan ... and made the connection that the capital city might likely be on the (pre-shattered) plains rather than in the mountains.
Not only is Stormseat on the Plains, it seems to have been the focal point for whatever shattered them.
Also, Adolin is preoccupied with something; Dalinar is "sick" and being attended by Navani; Shallan has slipped hints about "something valuable" into her reports to Palona, hoping to interest Sebarial in an expedition; and Shallan’s brothers have failed to respond to her letters asking them to join her.
However, this is the first time that Shallan directly confronts the fact that she is deliberately blocking her memories. Then again, it’s also the first time Pattern presses her on it and refuses to back off when she blanks out. And blank she does - three times in as many minutes. At long last, though, Pattern ignores her attempts to ignore him and divert the discussion, and presses her to remember; she simply can’t afford to cripple herself by this continued hiding from her memories.
It doesn’t entirely work; while she finally faces the knowledge that she is deliberately blocking her memories, she doesn’t stop blocking them. This is, though, the beginning of her readiness to face the past and then move on.
|“|| "Annoying!" she snapped.
Pattern hummed. "I’m sorry that your mystical, godlike powers do not instantly work as you would like them to."
She raised an eyebrow at him. "I thought you didn’t understand humor."
"I do. I just explained ... , He paused for a moment. "Was I being funny? Sarcasm. I was sarcastic. By accident!" He seemed surprised, even gleeful.
This is, of course, after the conversation where she made a smart remark and Pattern got into a dissection of humor, making it as not-funny as possible.
Since Shallan can’t/won’t confront her actual memories, she’s pretty intent on starting from scratch rather than remembering the things she used to do. Apparently, in so doing she actually discovers something she hadn’t been able to do before - at least, it doesn’t appear to be something familiar to Pattern. At one time, she’d been able to make her Illusions speak. Now, she can make them move without her direct intervention (by attaching them to Pattern), and she can make them stable at a distance by giving Pattern extra Investiture to support them. She hasn’t done it yet, but could Shallan create one Illusion for Pattern to carry, and another for herself, and then walk down the street having a conversation between the two of them?
Palah is clearly here as the Scholar; she might also be shown as the patron of Elsecallers, pointing up Shallan’s thoughts about Jasnah's studies and conclusions. Chanarach isn’t quite so clear, but she might represent Pattern’s role in his bond with Shallan at this point.
Shallan begins this chapter focusing on scholarship and Adolin is "preoccupied" with "something" else.
- Paraphrased from Alice Arneson